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Must a lien be enforceable to remain on a property ?

Saint Petersburg, FL |

Are there any requirements of lien holders to remove a lien if the obligation becomes unenforceable?

For example ... a foreclosure lawsuit is dismissed "with" prejudice ... and the Florida statute of limitations on the promissory notes has expired.

If the lien holder is unable to foreclose ... and is time barred from collecting on the note ... are they still entitled to maintain a lien on the property ?

Are there any requirements for a lien holder to maintain their lien ?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Best answer

    It is not unusual for a lienholder with an unenforceable lien to "forget" to remove the lien from the property. If they don't get it removed, you can have a quiet title action done that will remove such liens from the property. To do so, contact a real property attorney in your area.

    Carol Johnson Law Firm, P.A. : (727) 647-6645 : carol@caroljohnsonlaw.com : Wills, Trusts, Real Property, Probate, Special Needs: Information provided here is anecdotal and should not be relied upon or considered legal advice. Every matter is different and answers given here are general in nature and may not reflect current Florida law at the time you are reading this posting. Please contact me if you feel you need additional assistance with your matter.


  2. When title is examined, the title examiner looks at what is recorded in the public records. If it is not clear from what is recorded that a lien has expired, that lien is a "cloud on the title." To remove a lien that is a cloud on the title, you must either get a release from the lien holder or an order from a judge saying that the lien is unenforceable. If your are unsure of your right, you should consult an experienced real estate lawyer in your area.

    Disclaimer: This answer is provided for informational purposes only, does not constitute legal advice, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Actual legal advice can only be provided after completing a comprehensive consultation in which all of the relevant facts are discussed and reviewed.


  3. While I agree with my colleagues to a certain degree, I do not necessarily agree with your premise. While the statute of limitations may have run on the note, there is a separate statute of limitations dealing specifically with mortgages (5 years from the listed maturity date or 20 years from the filing date if a maturity date cannot be determined from the instrument). Furthermore, the Florida Supreme Court has ruled that since foreclosure is an equitable remedy, even if a lender loses at trial they can, in most circumstances, try to file a new foreclosure suit as the mortgage itself still continues to obligate the homeowner to make payments.

    The answers provided herein are for informational purposes only and should not be relied on as providing legal advice. Furthermore, this answer does not create an attorney-c;lient relationship. The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on an advertisement or general answer provided to a question on a website

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